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Kettle & Pedal

29 Jan

Two weeks ago, I tried spinning for the first time.

The setup was totally awesome – all of the bikes were in a dark room, with colored lights on the walls.  It was like spinning in a nightclub (seriously).  The instructor had a bumpin’ playlist, and there was a huge flatscreen TV that was playing music videos.

tumblr_md9ph47DHt1qej93ko1_250Watching Beyonce will make anyone work out a little harder.  My spinning got ten times faster when I saw her on that screen.

About 35 minutes of the class consisted of spinning.  The instructor led us through a series of hills and jumps at various resistance levels.  She was awesome – I love a motivating instructor who isn’t too in your face.

After the spinning portion of the class was complete, we went into another room to complete a group circuit workout.  There were four stations, so we split up with about 3-4 people to a station.  The instructor changed the exercises each time we went through the circuit (burpees, pushup variations, frog jumps, weighted exercises, plyo lunges, the list goes on…), but one exercise stayed the same:

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ROWING.  The dude above makes this look super sweet and effortless.  I worked muscles I didn’t even know I had and my heart was pounding out of my chest by the end.  The circuit did not advance until all of the rowers completed 200m (i.e. those doing burpees did as many as they could until the rowers were done, then advanced to the next exercise).  The class ended with Kettlebell arm exercises back on the bike (bicep curls, triceps extensions, front shoulder raises, etc.).

bodycraft-kettlebell-10lb-yellowIt. was. awesome.

At first, however, I wasn’t sure if I liked the class that much.  During the spinning portion, my legs tired out very quickly and my butt was uncomfortable on the seat.  When she explained the circuit to us, I was initially intimidated.

But once I let all of that go – I was hooked!  It was such a fun class, and I had forgotten how awesome and motivating it is to work out in a group.  I hadn’t taken a fitness class in a looong time, so this was a great way to switch it up.  I’ve taken two classes since and I’m already signed up to go again tomorrow.

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  • What was the last new fitness class you tried?
  • How do you overcome discomfort or intimidation in new situations?
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Volunteering & Resistance Bands

3 Aug

Is anyone else in shock that it’s already the beginning of August!?

This week was my last week volunteering at the senior home I have been at all summer.  It was a wonderful experience and I’m glad that I could use some of my free time to help others.  My work mostly concentrated in their marketing/PR department, so I assisted with various computer tasks, took photos of residents and improved the organization’s Facebook page.

I know it can be hard to find the time to volunteer as most of us are busy with work, family and other commitments.  It can also be a challenge to devote time to something that won’t result in a paycheck.

What I’ve learned over the past few months is that any amount of volunteering makes a difference.  I volunteered 12 hours a week, but I met some people who gave just one hour a week.  It all adds up.

Find something that inspires you.  Evaluate your schedule and consider whether volunteering is something you could do.  You might meet great people along the way, make someone’s life a little easier or find a new passion within you that you didn’t know existed.

In other news, I have discovered a love for a new-to-me fitness toy…

Resistance bands!

My boyfriend Dan bought resistance bands in the beginning of the summer to do P90X.  I had never used resistance bands until this week when we did a work out together.  We did a circuit that looked like this:

  • Biceps
  • Shoulders
  • Triceps
  • 30 sec. plank

For each set we did as many reps as possible.  We did this circuit a total of five times through, mixing up the exercises each time to target the muscles differently.  It was an effective workout that went by quickly and it was all done right in his living room.

After loving this workout, I knew resistance bands needed to be purchased to come to school with me.  I got the ones pictured above at Target for $19.99.

The set came with three bands – light, medium and heavy.  They all attach to the same handles for minimal equipment and an easy way to vary the resistance.  I’m really excited to use these for at-home strength training and for quick workouts while I’m at school.

Questions for the Afternoon:

  • Have you ever volunteered before?  If not, where would you like to volunteer?
  • Do you ever use resistance bands for strength training?

Back into it & Jump Rope Circuit Workout

31 Jul

Good afternoon!

How has your day been so far?  Mine has been productive and it feels great to be back in the swing of things.  After sleeping 10 (!) hours last night, I made myself breakfast and then got to work on my backed up to do list.  I sent a bunch of emails, ordered my books for law school (eek) and got myself organized for these last few weeks of summer.  I cannot believe how fast the time has gone!

Next, I had a long overdue sweat session planned at the gym.  After over a week of not working out, I was really excited to get back into it.

I started my workout with 20 minutes on the treadmill.  I ran two miles in around 18 minutes, then walked the rest of the time.  After that, I moved into the studio room at the gym for a circuit workout!  I knew I wanted a heart pounding cardio sesh after so many days off, and I wanted a mix that would keep me interested and target a little bit of everything.  I alternated various exercises with 30 seconds of jumping rope:

The circuit took me around 20 minutes to complete and I was a sweaty mess by the end.  You could also do it another time through for a 40 minute workout.  Enjoy!

A lift & a lunch

13 Jul

Just stopping in quick to share a workout and some eats!

I started my time at the gym this afternoon with a quick 5 minute warm up.  1 minute of walking, 4 minutes of jogging.  I didn’t seem to have the patience for much more!

Next, I headed to the weight room to do Julie’s Biceps +Triceps + Shoulders + Abs workout.

I did the first 3 supersets (biceps + triceps) in the weight room, and then moved to the studio room for the second 3 supersets (shoulders +abs).  I finished up the workout with 15 minutes of incline walking.  I wanted to get some HIIT in there, but my legs were still feeling dead from yesterday’s leg workout.

Reppin’ my future school. What up, Buffalo!

I really liked this workout and it made me realize how much I miss having a regular lifting routine.  At school I was pretty good about strength training 2-3 times per week, but in the summer I keep a little less structure to my workout schedule and I tend to run outside a lot more.

When I got home afterwards I was STARVING, so fortunately lunch came together easily thanks to last night’s leftovers.

Left over turkey sausage, grilled peppers & onions mixed with two eggs.  On the side, half of one of my zucchini banana walnut muffins with some almond butter.

Bella and Louie were impressed with my creation:

Will look cute for food.

Off to run some errands, then hoping for another win tonight for our undefeated kickball team!